2018 gave 2017 a run for its money at Dwyer High School Wednesday morning.
Nineteen student-athletes — two short of last year’s record total — signed collegiate letters of intent inside the school’s packed media center.
Four baseball players, eight football players, two lacrosse players, two soccer players and two softball players participated in the school’s annual Signing Day ceremony.
One other student-athlete — football player Cameron Jonas — did not attend the event, as he already has enrolled at Syracuse University.
Jonas, who injured his knee in August and missed the entire 2017 season, and his teammates join a long list of Panthers football players who have gone on to play in college.
This year’s group — so far — includes Justin Birchette (Ohio); Lubens Ervil (Jacksonville); Javon Hubbard (Gannon); Dalton Hustad (FAU); Jeff Martini (Florida Institute of Technology); Brendan Parr (Keiser); Andrew Kasten (Drake); and Cephus Smith (Hutchinson Community College).
Longtime coach Jack Daniels said he expects more players will sign in the coming months.
“We had a couple of kids who couldn’t sign today, but I think they’re going to hold off and take some more visits,” he said. “It’s a great day for these kids and their families.”
Nearly half of the Dwyer football players who signed Wednesday will stay in Florida, including two who aren’t leaving Palm Beach County.
Parr, whose older brother, Daniel, played quarterback at Dwyer and at FAU before transferring to Duquesne in December, said he looks forward to getting his college career underway at Keiser, which will play its first game this fall.
Keiser is coached by Doug Socha, who also coached at American Heritage and Oxbridge Academy.
“It’s great getting the opportunity to be part of the first football program there at Keiser,” Parr said.
Hustad also welcomes the opportunity to play for Lane Kiffin at FAU. He committed to the Owls on Monday, and wore an FAU cap to Wednesday’s ceremony.
“It’s right here in South Florida,” he said of the Boca Raton school. “You can’t beat the weather. And I really like the whole school. They’re all really nice there, and straight up with you.”
Also signing at Dwyer Wednesday were: Danny Lynch (Southern Miss for baseball); Ruairi Murphy (Jacksonville for baseball); Charlie Von Werne (Lehigh for baseball); Ryan Wimbush (University of Miami for baseball); Drew McKenna (Dean College for lacrosse); Stone Flanery (Lynn University for lacrosse); Lexi Bolton (Texas-San Antonio for soccer); Jadyn Matthews (Cornell for soccer); Nicole Collins (Clarion University for softball); and Taylor Hansel (Palm Beach State for softball).